Pinballs’ story

I really like stories, generally because there’s something you can learn from them and I particularly enjoy dev stories because not only you learn from them, but at least in my case I end up learning something useful.

This dev story is about the reason that neat little time waster called pinball wasn’t included in any windows release after XP. I guess “management reasons” was a bit of a no-brainer, but often times software engineers stay overtime to make things they believe in happen, I for one have done so on some occasions, so my curiosity naturally settled on the question, why didn’t anyone really want pinball in the next release, the answer? poorly written code.

You know something is truly badly written when the guys writing the operating system it runs on can’t figure it out, as it turns out the issue was quickly diagnosed, but finding the actual code that created it was a bit like finding an accidental piece of hair in your lasagna. It’s too bad they didn’t get to the bottom of that floating point problem though, would’ve made for a better story in my opinion, but at least I can say I learned to be more wary of rounding errors.

Anyway, the story is here, make sure to read the comments as well, they provide some further interesting insight.


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